For the 2017-18 season, trivalent influenza vaccines licensed in the U.S. will contain hemagglutinin (HA) derived from an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these antigens along with a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage).
Flu vaccine is recommended annually for everyone 6 months of age and older who does not have a contraindication. Those too young to be immunized benefit from maternal antibodies passed through the placenta by a mother who was vaccinated during her pregnancy and by being surrounded by immunized friends and family members. Healthcare providers should vaccinate with any appropriate available flu vaccine formulation to avoid missed opportunities. Begin offering vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Peak influenza activity does not generally occur until February. Providers are encouraged to continue vaccinating patients throughout the influenza season, including into the spring months.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on August 25, 2017 provides guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for using this year's flu vaccine products. See this PDF for a for a listing of influenza vaccine products available for the 2016-17 season.
Thimerosal is used as a preservative in all multi-dose vial presentations of influenza vaccine. A 0.5 mL dose drawn from a multi-dose vial contains up to 25 µg thimerosal, depending on manufacturer. Most single-dose flu vaccine presentations-prefilled syringe, single-dose vial, and prefilled microinjection system-are thimerosal free. An exception is the 0.5 mL prefilled syringe of Fluvirin, which contains ≤1µg of thimerosal.
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